I love American beer. I rarely drink anything else. Perhaps it’s because my pallet favors the bold or even the weird, but the thought of drinking anything else doesn’t really interest me. Some people complain about the history dominated by tasteless macro brews—obviously, Schlitz does not fall into this category—others complain about the bucking of tradition. But this is America, a nation of adaptors and inventors. Can’t do things the old way? Well, let’s just do them the American way. There’s no better example of this than Anchor Brewing Company’s signature Steam Ale.
Originally brewed on the West Coast out of necessity (people need beer! And they didn’t have ice), steam ales test the robustness of lager yeast by fermenting them at ale temperatures. I’ve heard stories about how the brewing process created an inordinate amount of steam because of the heat, but I can’t really find reliable evidence to corroborate these claims. Regardless, Anchor Steam shows just how innovative American’s can be when they have a demand to fill.
To me, steam ales seem like such an untapped resource. Sure, it doesn’t seem like it could get much better than a cold Anchor on a warm day, but still, Anchor’s the only game in town. You mean to tell me you don’t want more beers with this level of refreshment and body in other beers? Not to mention the crisp hop finish, and the seemingly endless drinkability. Oberon is a good summer beer. Anchor Steam is what all summer beers should strive to be.
Best Enjoyed: Cold and on a boat. Or just before you do a radio show.
Best Paired With: Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza.
Find it: I’ve seen it pretty much everywhere I’ve ever visited, even Florida. I assume this means pretty much every state?
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